Steven Fletcher: Wolves reject third Sunderland bid

Wolves have rejected a third offer from Sunderland for striker Steven Fletcher.

The Championship side have previously turned down bids of £10m and £12m for the 25-year-old, and this latest offer falls short of Wolves’ £15m valuation.

Fletcher submitted a transfer request earlier this month, following Sunderland’s £12m offer.

“We want to keep our best players,” said Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey. “If our valuations are not met then they will remain at Wolves.”

Fletcher, who scored 12 goals in 26 Premier League appearances as Wolves were relegated from the top flight last season, has two years left on his Molineux contract, with an option for a third.

His former club Burnley will be due 15% of any profit Wolves make on a player they paid £7m for in 2010.

Fletcher missed Saturday’s Capital One Cup tie against Aldershot with an ankle injury and, with Wolves due to start their Championship campaign at Leeds on Saturday, Moxey is eager to bring the transfer saga to a close.

“All parties need to draw a line under this matter, which has now dragged on for more than a month,” he said.

“We need to focus on the season ahead and these disruptions to the squad’s preparations are unhelpful.

“We cannot allow this speculation to drag on indefinitely up to the closure of the transfer window.”

Sunderland are short of attacking options following the departures of Asamoah Gyan and Nicklas Bendtner, and boss Martin O’Neill has made Fletcher his prime attacking target this summer.

No Sunderland player reached double figures in goals last season, with Bendtner and Stephane Sessegnon the top-scorers with eight.

O’Neill believes Fletcher, who scored seven headers last season, will give Sunderland’s attack much-needed potency.

Fletcher has suffered Premier League relegations with Burnley and Wolves during the past three seasons, but his goals-to-games ratio is better than one in three.